US Preparing Sanctions Against Chinese Companies Benefiting From Cybertheft

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The United States is preparing a set of sanctions to be introduced against Chinese companies implicated in the cybertheft of the intellectual property and trade secrets of US companies, The Washington Post reported Monday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama's administration is yet to decide whether the sanctions should be applied to Chinese companies and individuals who benefited from breaches of US databases by Chinese hackers, but a final decision is expected to be made within two weeks, the newspaper reported, citing their sources in the administration.

According to The Washington Post, the packet of sanctions is expected to be introduced on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's first visit to the United States, although some of their sources in the administration suggest that it might be delayed for a number of days after the visit to avoid controversy.

"As the president said when signing the executive order enabling the use of economic sanctions against malicious cyber actors, the administration is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to confront such actors. That strategy includes diplomatic engagement, trade policy tools, law enforcement mechanisms, and imposing sanctions on individuals or entities that engage in certain significant, malicious cyber-enabled activities," the newspaper quoted a senior official as saying.

On August 10, a leaked top secret National Security Agency (NSA) briefing from 2014 reportedly alleged that Chinese hackers have had access to the emails of top national security and trade officials in the Obama Administration since at least April 2010.

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